MUM’S the word, as far as Glasgow Warriors back-row Jack Dempsey is concerned when it comes to the prospect of switching allegiance from Australia to Scotland later this year. The 28-year-old is giving nothing away as to which way he is leaning on the issue, and he says he is not going to make any decision on the matter until after he has talked it over with his mother. 

The 14-times capped Wallaby will become eligible to play for Scotland in mid-October as a result of a change in World Rugby’s international qualification rules which allows capped players to represent a second country after completing a three-years ‘stand-down’ period, so long as they have “a close and credible link via birthright” to the team they wish to play. 

Dempsey’s maternal grandfather was Scottish and the last time he played for Australia was on 11th October 2019 – but he insisted that swapping the green and gold of his birth land for the navy blue of his current place of residence is not a decision he will take lightly. 

“A few of the lads have been into me, trying to get some insight into what I am thinking, but I have no light to shed,” he said. “I’ve pretty much had the same mindset since the laws were changed back in January, that I’m just focussing on the Warriors because the date for me to officially change isn’t until October. 

“I will address the issue when the time comes, but there’s no point worrying about it too much now, especially when we’ve got such big games coming up for Glasgow Warriors – that’s all I want to focus on. 

“I am going to have a deep think [before making a decision],” he added.  “I’ve got my parents coming over for the Edinburgh game in two weeks’ time. I haven’t seen them for a while, so I’ll catch up with them, and my mum is obviously the one who’s on the Scottish side, so I’ll pick her brain about a few different things and what she’s thinking … because I know my dad doesn’t want me to bloody play for Scotland!”  

Asked if he has discussed the matter with Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend, Dempsey replied: “Maybe I have or maybe I haven’t. I don’t know. I can’t really talk about it.” 

“Is the door open? Well, it’s not closed. But if the door is closed, I’m aways going to sneak through the window, I’m just one of those guys,” he added, rather cryptically. 

As luck would have it, Scotland’s first game after Dempsey becomes eligible will be against Australia, just 18-days after his ‘stand down’ period has been completed. He says he’s not sure whether that is a good or a bad thing. 

“It kind of depends on what I decide, really,” he shrugged. “When they came here for the Autumn Tests last year, I went to the game and watched it live – sitting in the crowd having a few Guinness’ – and that was the first game I’d been to at Murrayfield when I wasn’t part of the squad.  

“So, if I’m not playing it will be good because I can go there and have a few more beers in the stand and watch the game, and if I am playing … on either team … it will be good either way.  

“I’m not thinking about it too much. I just think it is a good thing to see those two teams play the game here.”  

Warriors fly to France this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s European Challenge Cup quarter-final showdown against Lyon, and Dempsey believes the trip can be the perfect antidote to the disappointment of the back-to-back losses the team endured in South Africa during the last fortnight. 

“We’ve just had a disappointing two weeks, but we’re able to come back to a different competition and have a mental refresh,” he reasoned. “This is knock-out rugby, so we can forget about the league for a bit. 

“I think that’s the energy we’re all trying to tap into. Everyone wants to pick themselves up and refocus and bounce back. 

“This is why we all play the game – to be in those matches where you win or your out.”